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To obtain beverages with reduced alcohol content, the use of unripe grapes, with low sugar and high malic acid concentration, was recently explored. Due to the low sugar, ethanol and glycerol production is limited during fermentation affecting important sensory aspects such as the palate fullness of these beverages. The high acidity influences their organoleptic quality, as well. So far, only S. cerevisiae starter, used in conventional fermentations, have been tested in this condition, and no selection has been performed to identify alternative yeasts suitable for unripe grape fermentation. S. bacillaris is known for the low ethanol tolerance, high glycerol and moderate volatile acidity production. Therefore, this non- Saccharomyces yeast have been investigated to improve the quality of low-alcohol beverages. Seven S. bacillaris strains were tested in synthetic musts with different sugar and malic acid levels, mimicking natural ripe and unripe grape musts. In all the tested conditions, S. bacillaris produced higher glycerol than S. cerevisiae. In single-strain fermentation at low sugar and high malic acid no S. bacillaris strains was able to transform all the sugars, although the produced ethanol was lower than that at high sugar condition. Therefore, sequential fermentations with S. cerevisiae were evaluated at low sugar and high malic acid. In this condition all the sugars were consumed and a significant glycerol increase was found. These results were confirmed when sequential fermentations were run in natural unripe grape must. Moreover, an increase in malic acid degradation, with respect to EC1118 single-strain fermentation, was observed.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: International journal of food microbiology
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